NEW BRITAIN - The New Britain Beesâ€™ series against the Long Island Ducks didnâ€™t go the way they had wanted it to.
The Bees dropped the final two games to lose the series and two games in the Liberty Division standings. New Britain still has a number of division games left - 20 to be exact - before the regular season draws to a close on Sept. 22, but will only face the Ducks three more times during that stretch.
Overall, it was an opportunity missed for the Bees.
Here are some observations from the series:
STRUGGLING TO SCORE
The Bees entered their series against the Ducks with one of the most productive offenses in the Atlantic League, but that hit a bump in the three-game set.
Getting on base wasnâ€™t the issue, however. New Britain collected 25 base hits over the three games and walked another 12 times. The issue was advancing the runners once they were on. The Bees, as a team, left 27 runners on base and went a mere 5-for-32 with runners in scoring position, including leaving 17 in scoring position with two outs.
The Ducks, on the other hand, left just 16 runners on base as a team and went 8-for-26 with runners in scoring position. And it certainly played a part in costing New Britain the series. The Bees lost the rubber match on Thursday by a score of 6-4.
THE PITCHING REMAINS THE SAME
It hasnâ€™t been much of a secret New Britainâ€™s pitching staff has struggled throughout a good portion of this season. The team had the highest team ERA and second-highest WHIP prior to the Bees hosting Long Island. Those numbers havenâ€™t changed much, if at all, after the three games.
Entering its series against the York Revolution, the final three games of a six-day homestand, New Britain still has the worst team ERA in the Atlantic League at 5.18 (15 points higher than the Lancaster Barnstormers) and second-highest WHIP at 1.50. The staff has also given up the most amount of hits in the league as well at 839. The Barnstormers are second with 794, while the Sugar Land Skeeters are third at 793.
Devin Burke bucked that trend in the series opener against the Ducks. The right-hander allowed just two runs over seven innings and struck out five. He didnâ€™t walk any and the Bees won 3-2.
It was a much different story over the final two games.
Jed Bradley surrendered five runs, four of which were earned, in five innings in game two to see his personal ERA jump to 7.36. Reliever Anthony Alicki then allowed three more over the final two frames in a rain-shortened game that ended in an 8-1 loss.
Anthony Alicki started the third game and proceeded to allow six runs, five of which came in the fourth inning, on eight hits over five innings. He walked four and struck out two. New Britain lost 6-4.
JASON ROGERSâ€™ STREAK ENDS
Despite the up-and-down nature of the Bees-Ducks series, Rogers continued to be a bright spot throughout.
The first baseman went 4-for-9 with a walk over the first two games to extend his on-base streak to 30 consecutive games. Unfortunately, that streak ended on Thursday night. Rogers went 0-for-4 with a strikeout.
Still, heâ€™s hitting .310/.408/.465 with all rank near the top of the both the team and in the Atlantic League. Rogers also has seven home runs and a team-leading 58 RBI entering Friday.
David Glovach can be reached at (860) 801-5085 or email@example.com